Tag Archives: haunted houses

The Haunting of Hill House

Thoughts by Shirley Jackson, Blackstone Audio 2010 (orig 1959), 7 hour 36 minutes

Bernadette Dunne (Narrator)

“It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people or for love or for hope.”

Challenge: Readers in Peril XV
Genre: Doesn’t Shirley Jackson have her own genre?
Type/Source: Audio
 Why I read this now:  Only a coincidence that my reading this happened to be during RIP, to be honest. I needed an audiobook, this one was available. I’ve always wanted to read it. Because Shirley.F.Jackson.

MOTIVATION for READING: See sentence above.

“Don’t do it, Eleanor told the little girl; insist on your cup of stars; once they have trapped you into being like everyone else you will never see your cup of stars again; don’t do it; and the little girl glanced at her, and smiled a little subtle, dimpling, wholly comprehending smile, and shook her head stubbornly at the glass. Brave girl, Eleanor thought; wise, brave girl.”

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A professor attempting to find a big breakthrough for his research and to make his place in Academia, invites many possible apprentices to join him in a stay at a house of ill (horror) repute. Only a few take him up on it.

But they are ALL IN, Baby!

THOUGHTS: So, I’ve maybe seen the movie? maybe PIECEs of the movie? I seem to know enough about that movie with (Liam Neeson, Lili Taylor, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Owen Wilson) but not quite the same. Same enough! Minor creative differences, is all.

The house is actually COOL, in its off kilter slightly not-square way. And the buildup is great. The guy who built the place was obviously way off his rocker and nothing is explained.

Only survived…

“I like apple pie with sour cream.”

I enjoyed the telling, I enjoyed the descriptions and the sense of place – extremely well done. I did see Lili as Eleanor and I could see CZJ as Theo, too. Liam Neeson will never be the professor. Yes, Jackson is a master – so good. Not really that scary in print, methinks. I may never watch the movie again nor the miniseries recently. I’m just NOT a scary movie person.

RATING:  Four slices of pie.




Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Part 2 (the regular laptop with internet access version)

Thoughts    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, Vintage Books/Random House 1998 (orig 1997), translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin, 607 pages


There is a cat.  And it is missing.

– Maree of Just Add Books – my readalong partner for this novel and for the Murakami Reading Challenge

This part is for my friend Jimmi who complimented me once on my reviews giving ‘just enough’ information.  (I hope!)

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is an easy read if you just go along with the the ride.  I honestly thought I would encounter a lot of Japanese ‘stuff’ and really, the only culture wall I hit was when something had a price in yen rather than dollars and I had no idea if that was a lot of money or not.   Truly, the similarities to my own US culture – the stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee, for example – was almost TOO relatable for a book translated from another language!    AND that it was set in the 80’s was even more remarkable for its relatability factor in that even then, it was not too foreign.

I don’t read much ‘magical realism’ and wouldn’t be very good at defining it?  but this book is ODD.    and matter of fact.   Which is probably the realism part because as you encounter the magic, you wonder why no one else in the story seems particularly struck by how weird this is getting…

It’s about a guy who is out of work but only slightly bothered by the situation.  He is easy-going and compliant.   And yet, when he acts, he does so with strong conviction.  He meets all sorts of interesting people and makes a few odd friends.    The book covers some of the war between Japan and Russia leading into World War II.   It has gore and violence and tragedies of said war and prison life.      It’s got LOVE!    and mother-son affection.  And family dysfunction – quite a lot of family problems and secrets, really, but not explored in depth.

Back to our protagonist….   His wife leaves him and he sets the goal to get her back.  To rescue her — or, at the very least, get an explanation for her leaving.

And, well.   I guess that’s about it.    All sorts of crazy bat shit happens on the way.

I liked him. I was yelling at him at some points in the story and shocked beyond all expectations in one scene (WTF?!?!)   and finally, I think, the whole nutty tale boils down to LOVE.   Love conquers all.  Love. Reigns. Supreme.

Love is all there is.     And a few unexplainable strange evil threads of time or other worlds and stuff.

I’m so glad the cat came back, too.   (If it was the same cat…)


Copyright © 2007-2011. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.